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January 9, 2016

January 9, 2016

I first learned about soul-talking from King David. “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His holy name.” Said David to his soul. The very concept of soul-talking intrigued me. What part of David was speaking to his soul? What prompted his mouth to command his soul?

I believe it was David’s spirit talking to his soul. This is why I believe that:

God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you . . .” (Jer 1:5) Though I’ve read the Bible through many times, I remember vividly the night this scripture affected my heart in a life changing way. A man was guest speaking at our church. He had no idea who I was or how I was. But as he read this scripture, he seemed to look straight at me and through me. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

Suddenly, my heart ached so deeply and hungered so profusely for that relationship – that knowing. I began to pray, “Lord, I want to know the person you knew before you placed me in my mother’s womb! I want to know who I was; who you designed me to be. I want to know this person that you knew so I can start from there and be all you designed me to be before all the twisting and turning happened with my growing up years.” I could only weep. I could not speak the words that so ached in my heart for a response from God.

I left church that night feeling devastated. Alone. Empty but full of pain. I was a person of vision (meaning, I’ve had visions) but I saw nothing. I am a person who hears God, but I heard nothing. It was as though my spirit was shut down while my soul raged within me with words of hunger and thirst, with words of abandonment and shame.

Admittedly, I began a descent from that moment. Oh, I heard from God again – but not about that particular prayer. I saw visions again, but nothing specifically for me. It was much like my mother when she didn’t want to have those conversations about my childhood. God seemed to avert his eyes like you do when you see road kill. He seemed to silently wait for me to change the subject, so we could go about life again and pretend the ugliness didn’t happen. And like I’ve always done when life is painful, I allowed the pretense, but I grew quiet. I withdrew. If we can’t have an honest conversation, I don’t really want to have any conversation.

God allowed my descent. He permitted my silence and even my withdrawal to an extent.

Oh, he sent words on occasion. He gave me some revelations about things that helped others and excited me to know he still cared, but there was a scar on my heart and it would not allow the balm of God’s Spirit to penetrate for full healing.

Finally, I did what always brings me healing. I went to the word. His word. And one of the first things that I saw when I went there was soul-talking. The author of Psalm 42 questioned his soul. “Why so downcast, oh my soul? Why are you disquieted within me?” He demanded his downcast soul, “Put your hope in God.” And of course, David commanded, “Bless the Lord and forget none of his benefits.”

There is something to this soul-talking stuff. I am determined to diligently do it to bring my soul and body into subjection to my spirit – which I believe is the part of me that God knew before he formed me in my mother’s womb.

When I was born-again, my spirit became alive with the life of Christ. I have no doubt. It was like an earthquake within me when I first confessed Jesus (the) Christ as my Savior. I shook for days afterward. There was a definite dominion shift at the core of my being.

Since then, when God looks at me he sees my spirit, made in the image and likeness of his dear Son. My spirit was not born a baby, it was born fully mature and became alive as a mature being in the image and likeness of Christ. My spirit does not need to grow up, my soul does.

When I worship God in spirit and truth, he responds like he did to Jesus while he was on earth. When I pray in my spirit, He responds to my prayers just as he responded to Jesus’. No matter what I’ve done or what I’ve said, when my alive spirit connects with God’s Spirit, we are connected in a very intimate way.

God does not examine my flesh or my soul for flaw or err. He looks on and hears my spirit which (again) is created in the likeness of Jesus.

John the Revelator claimed in 1John 4:17, “As he is, so are you in this world.” As Jesus is, so am I in this world, not in the great by-and-by. He didn’t say, so you will be. He said, “so are you (now-present tense) in this world (where we live and breathe). How can this be? How can John say this to a church that doesn’t seem to look or sound anything like the fearless love Jesus portrayed?

John was speaking of our spirit. My spirit is the image and likeness of Jesus, so it is fearless love. The trouble happens when I can’t see or hear that image because my soul is so loud and glaring that it blocks the image of Christ within me. My wounded little soul is still reacting to damage inflicted on it as a seven-year-old child. I often can’t see past the shame and crippling fear of being a disappointment. The soul is where we feel shame and unworthiness. It is where fear resides. It is the part of us that takes work to renew to the image in our spirit. My soul needs to see and hear my born again spirit to bless the Lord and forget none of his benefits. One of those benefits is deliverance from shame. Another is that I am not a disappointment. I can’t help if people are disappointed, I don’t have the power to disappoint or to make people happy. That’s not my responsibility, so if they think I disappoint them, it’s because they have put their hope in the wrong thing. The seven-year-old child that was hurt didn’t know that, but the born-again spirit in me now knows it and delivers the message. Eventually, that little child will heal and grow into all the Father designed for it. But first, I must talk to it the healing words of grace and truth.

I am transformed by the renewing (redecorating, renovation) of my mind (Rom 12:1-2), to the point where I prove (I manifest to my physical senses) the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. By embracing God’s word, I’ll be able to see the perfection that is in my born-again spirit start flowing through my soul and body. Virtue will flow out of me like it did Jesus.

I don’t have to beg for God’s power somewhere out there to affect my circumstances, I just have to renew my mind to let my soul come into agreement with my born again spirit that it’s already been accomplished. The word was spoken. “By Jesus’ stripes I was healed.” My alive spirit is in agreement with that word that has spirit and life and my soul changes and comes into agreement as well.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name and forget none of his benefits. In this I will have life and life more abundantly. In this, I will have citizenship in heaven. What is bound in heaven, I bind on earth, what is permitted in heaven, I permit (in my life) on this earth.

2016 will be the year I seriously begin soul-talking. How about you? Will I have other soul-talkers join me?

In Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that works within us, Amen.

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